chasing movement

Month: September 2015


It is certain that I can potentially enjoy any project whose idea inspires me. It can be from a simple buzzing system that prevents me from slamming the fridge’s door with an open drawer to a sky rocket algorithm that quantifies soft tissue deformation during pitching. 
I’m an engineer and researcher. Therefore, I can do anything. Including doing nothing that I’ve done till now. How that sounds? Beautiful uh? If technology was broken for a certain research question, it was worth to evaluate how much I could put it together and how much I should wait for my beloved colleagues to come up with better material science that will hopefully fix the broken technology of today. 
I wonder how senior researchers and professors deal with it. I know some that keep a straight line of thought since the first derivative line in their phd. Some others are widely open to their students’ abilities and drives. The latter perhaps would hear me when I say that you can do whatever you want. 
Holstee and so many other inspiring texts claim you should do what you love. People may break nuts while figuring out what the hack is the thing they love. Maybe the answer is not a single topic or drive. It’s a realm. But watch out, you should not entitled yourself to a task that you don’t have the correspondent knowledge and qualification to do, this would be totally irresponsible. But yes, given that you have the background knowledge, that you know the right tools for the job, you can do anything. Do not ever ever ever step on someone else’s domain. Give value and admiration to your peers is essential and efficient. Also, do not deliver bold statements based on superficial knowledge and low fidelity data. Be critic. About your work, your mentors’ work and anyone else’s work. Do it, but find the line between being critic and wasting your time pointing out at others’ work. A nice way to show limitations of a given work is not pointing at it loud, it is indeed to do it yourself… better. 
Not only you should do what you love, but do what you know you do well! Know your weakness and find competent people to pair with, given value to their work. Remember that is always hard to give value to details or preciosities if you ignore the topic. Respect and admiration should fill your knowledge gap for this purpose. 
And yes, be in fucking love with yourself. This is essential, but do not ever ever diminish other people and do not put yourself on a tabernacle from where you are not be able to see what is underneath your feet or the dust around you. If you don’t love yourself, you can be ridiculous competent but you won’t be seen and recognized. Don’t wait or work for recognition, do what you think is needed and give yourself recognition for your strengths, efforts, and your processes of learning by failure. 
Be bold. 
Do what you think the world needs and if it is not prepared for that, build a communication tunnel which you could use to offer the world something, even if this is limited or far from your ideal capabilities. It is worth. Don’t attach and satisfy yourself with the minimum though. The sky is not the limit, but it’s a nice place to be looking at. 
Be bold. Mean it!
Driving, I’d tell my mom. If you are willing to turn, mean it, otherwise people won’t see your intention. If you don’t turn the wheels enough, you’ll either find an obstacle or be an obstacle to someone else. Mean it. 

a humble confession/collection of insights to my pupil that inspires me a bunch. Thanks g.

Since my friend N, argentinisimo, showed me Spinoza’s text: ‘On the Improvement of the Understanding‘, a text that circulated unfinished before 1662(?) and was finally published in its final version after Spinoza’s death in 1677.

Spinoza’s text is powerful if one is searching for purpose, personal evaluation, and life changes. He starts by discussing the ordinary objects of men’s desires:

For the ordinary
surroundings of life which are esteemed by men (as their actions
testify) to be the highest good, may be classed under the three
heads—Riches, Fame, and the Pleasures of Sense: with these three the
mind is so absorbed that it has little power to reflect on any different

He then defends a minimalist and humble life in his ‘rules of life’, which are probably unattainable in the current capitalist world, but which idealism makes sense as a reference with its place in time.

Maybe one of the most up-to-date claims of Spinoza is the idea that we should understand what is real or not. This is also a difficult task when everything is made to seduce us into consumption, passiveness at a certain level or in certain spaces, etc. Any form of isolation or obsession is indeed the creation of another reality which exists to make your world more comfy. But it is not real. Discerning one thing from another requires a continuous mind inquietude.

I shall confine
myself to what concerns method—that is, to the character of fictitious,
false and doubtful perceptions, and the means of freeing ourselves

I like to say that the laws of physics help me defining my ideas and that I sometimes I catch myself trying to live as an experiment, which requires method, hypotheses, evaluation, discussion. After all, I think I’m nuts but Spinoza goes even deeper into this:

We need, therefore, be in no fear of forming hypotheses,
so long as we have a clear and distinct perception of what is involved.
For, if we were to assert, haply, that men are suddenly turned into
beasts, the statement would be extremely general, so general that there
would be no conception, that is, no idea or connection of subject and
predicate, in our mind.

I hope you find yourself curious about this text and that one day we get the chance to discuss it.


Last weekend I visited an iconic site in Brazil: the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora Aparecida. This saint is the Brazilian patroness.

The first intriguing thing about this place is the numbers. During the religious holiday celebrating Our Lady of Aparecida, up to 300,000 pilgrims visit the basilic during the weekend. People come from everywhere including across seas. The parking lot? 6,000 cars, but most of the visitors travels for a couple of days by bus to reach the Basilic.

The second and most intriguing thing to me is the faith and humiliation expressed by devotees paying tribute or bring their offerings to the saint. Some walk on their knees for about 4 km, others carry heavy figurines of Aparecida or a cross.

The take away:

* it is hard not to be touched by the atmosphere of this place. There are so many people desiring the good, trusting, offering their life, so humble …. it is indeed overwhelming

* beyond faith resides business. Catholic priest and admins, Jewish, Muslims which own a small – mostly informal – businesses … all of them make business life in Aparecida’s city really active. There is no single way of exploiting the devotees’ faith that hadn’t been used in that town. In the end, everything comes to money.

aparecida's devotee

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